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In the news … June 5, 2018

Google quits selling tablets (Update: Just a bug)

pdate: Apparently it was just a bug that utterly erased tablets off Google’s Android sites in many languages and localities (I couldn’t check them all), and the tablet section has now returned. False alarm! But don’t be surprised when it happens for real some time soon.
Google has quietly crept out of the tablet business, removing the “tablets” heading from its Android page. Perhaps it hoped no one would notice on a Friday and by Monday it would be old news, but Android Police caught them in the act. It was there yesterday, but it’s gone today.

CRTC report calls for action to strengthen Canadian culture

OTTAWA, May 31, 2018 /CNW/ – The union representing 12,000 Canadian journalists and media workers has endorsed the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s call for a “bold and judicious” overhaul of federal media regulation.
“The new CRTC chair’s call for equitable contributions from all industry participants—whether online, cable, ISP, foreign or domestic—is a big step in the right direction,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “If Netflix, Google and Facebook and all the other American giants don’t have to reinvest their Canadian profits in Canadian shows and local news, our cultural identity will be in big trouble.”

Green Shield Canada Launches Digital Health Strategy to Support Mental Health

TORONTO, May 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a first for Canadian health benefits plans, digital, evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) will be offered alongside traditional prescription drug plans and psychotherapy services. Approximately 1.5 million Green Shield Canada (GSC) plan members and their dependents will now be able to use their coverage for modern mental health services with immediate access and in a format most convenient to them.
GSC has been seeking ways to help chip away at some common barriers that prevent plan members from getting the mental health treatment they need, namely access, cost, and a lack of evidence-based, quality counselling options. GSC’s annual health trends studies have demonstrated the tendency for physicians to prescribe antidepressants as first-line therapy for mild to moderate depression with very poor patient adherence scores in the aftermath. And when physicians do turn to community-based counselling options, there may be long wait lists and/or no assurance that quality, evidence-based care will be offered.

Apple Needs to Play Nice with Spotify

With WWDC a couple of days out, we’re coming up on one year since Apple  first showed off its glitzy answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers. It took more than 8 months from then for the HomePod to finally hit shelves, and it took up until a couple of days ago for all the promised functionality to arrive.
Four months since launch, it’s clear Apple delivered some awesome hardware, but there are plenty of features I want to see the HomePod pick up when Apple comes to the stage at its annual developer conference to talk iOS 12. For all the criticisms levied against the device, the most weighty has been the fact that there isn’t even a vague reason to consider buying the speaker unless you are an Apple Music subscriber. For Apple Watch users who want to listen to non-Apple Music tunes the same is true to a lesser degree.

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